QUEENSLAND’S Catholic education sector has signed up to a commitment to ensure access to education for young people who need an alternative to conventional schooling pathways.
Queensland Catholic Education Commission Executive Director Dr Lee-Anne Perry recently co-signed the commitment, alongside representatives of the state and independent school sectors.
The statement of commitment Quality Pathways for all young people: A commitment to alternative education was developed to provide support and resources for students who required alternative education due to learning constraints experienced by some in a standard classroom.
Dr Perry said while mainstream Catholic schools strive to meet the needs of students, there was still a requirement for alternative schooling to assist some students.
“The commitment outlines how alternative school settings make a vital contribution to achieving an equitable school system.
“These settings provide tailored learning and deliver high-quality teaching, so young people experience opportunities equal to their peers in mainstream settings,” Dr Perry said.
“In the Catholic sector, alternative schooling is provided through 14 special assistance schools run by Edmund Rice Education Australia, Cairns Catholic Education and Toowoomba Catholic Schools.
“These Special Assistance Schools are in both metropolitan and regional settings and provide an opportunity for students to continue their education when conventional schooling isn’t an option.”
Dr Perry said the Catholic sector was committed to ensuring equitable access to education for all students.
“Equity doesn’t mean that all students obtain equal education outcomes, but we need to ensure economic or social circumstances are not creating a barrier to education.”
Dr Perry said the signed commitment ensured high expectations were set for schools to provide support and resources for alternative education settings.
“It outlines best practice in making transitions from mainstream schools to alternative schools, and highlights the roles and responsibilities of mainstream schools to exhaust every in-school option open to them to engage a young person before an alternative setting is considered,” she said.
“For Catholic schools to flourish we need to ensure that our schools are part of a broader education system focused on the future of every student and their capacity to achieve their potential and contribute to our community.
“I was pleased to collaborate with the state and independent sectors to deliver this commitment to the young people who will access alternative education settings.”